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Table of Content:
SHORT INTRODUCTION OF RUNNING PROJECT
Since October 2005 Globe International NGO has started to implement the project “Monitoring free expression violations and supporting the rights of independent media“ with the financial support of the Open Society Institute in London through Open Society Forum in Mongolia.
This 12-month project involves 2 inter-related activities designed to build the capacity of free-expression monitoring in Mongolia in cooperation with the Canadian-based International Free Expression eXchange /IFEX/ and Moscow-based Center for Journalists for Extreme Situation. It will help us to work effectively with the other international freedom-of-information communities in the world.
Two inter-related activities as a way of achieving its objectives are:
1. Training and Expertise: Monitoring, Legal Support, Networking,
2. Strengthening National and International Advocacy on Freedom of Expression
Activities 1 and 2 are sequential in that Globe International will apply for IFEX membership. Upon acceptance as an IFEX member, Globe International would act as the national conduit for Action Alerts to the IFEX community and Globe International will be a part of the international network and the information on the free expression situation will be disseminated a outside of the country.
FREE EXPRESSION VIOLATION MONITORING TRAINING
Summary: the training took place over the course of two days. The overriding
objective was to familiarise Globe International with the operation of the
International Freedom of Expression Exchange (IFEX) and, in particular, to train
them on the investigation, research and drafting of alerts and other advisories for
circulation on the IFEX network.
JOURNALISTS MET TO ADDRESS THEIR PROBLEM
The journalist's round table meeting was held on 16 November 2005 and Ms.D.Munkhburen, project coordinator "Monitoring Free Expression Violations and Supporting the Rights of Independent Media" OSI funded one year project and Ms. Ch. Yeruulsuren, alerts coordinator have introduced about the project which aims to build the capacity of free expression monitoring in Mongolia.
LAWYERS DISCUSSED THE MEDIA LEGAL FRAMEWORK
By the initiative of Globe International NGO which set out to implement "Monitoring Free Expression Violations and Supporting the Rights of Independent Media " OSI funded- one year project was held the law consultancy meeting on free expression violations in Mongolia on 23 November 2005.
MONGOLIAN PRESS INSTITUTE IS CELEBRATING 10th ANNIVERSARY
The Press Institute was established in 1995 under a project “Free media”, which was funded by Danish International Development Agency in accordance with the bilateral agreement between Mongolia and Denmark. The Institute is a non-governmental organization designed to serve the
interests of a civil society.
FREE PRESS FOUNDATION
The “FREE PRESS” project was one among a number of DANIDA projects, which constitutes a programme of transitional assistance from the Danish Government to Mongolia in the 1990’s. The fact that the two organisations established through the project – FREE PRESS Foundation (printer house) and Press Institute of Mongolia – now can celebrate 10 years anniversary in a stronger and more developed shape than when the official project ended can only be taken as evidence that this project has been among one of the most successful of the DANIDA projects.
GLOBE INTERNATIONAL ATTENDS THE GENERAL MEETING OF IFEX
Globe International is applying for membership in IEFX, which will allow
Globe International to join 64 other international and national NGOs working
together to campaign for free expression around the globe. Mongolia is not
presently represented in IFEX and, as a result, almost no information on free-expression
violations in the country are disseminated to the international community.
INTERNATIONAL TEAM VISITS BAYAN-OLGII TO SUPPORT THE ACCESS TO INFORMATION OF NATIONAL MINORITIES
International team consisting from 7 members will work in Bayan-Olgii, the only Kazakh province in Mongolia 12- 19 April 2006. The trip is a part of preparation of Globe International project to support public service broadcasting under UNESCO auspices. The international team is represented by Globe International, UNESCO, Asian Broadcasting Union (ABU), Kazah National University in Almaty and BBC. During the visit the international team will assess the present media situation in Bayan-Olgii and conduct several training .
WORKSHOP "MASS MEDIA AND COPYRIGHT" TAKES PLACE IN ULAANBAATAR
"Legalius", Mongolian law firm in conjunction with the Asia-Broadcasting Union (ABU) held a workshop on "Mass media and copyright" from 21-22 January 2006 at Chinggis hotel in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. As the workshop participants emphasized, it had an "enlightening" effect on them.
2. Free expression spotlights
(Globe International/IFEX) - On the night of 19 December 2005, unknown individual vandalised the vehicle of television journalist G. Batjav near his home in Ulaanbaatar. All of the windows were broken, both mirrors were torn apart and the interior of the car was destroyed. However, no valuables or car parts were taken.
North -west region
On December 31, Zavkhan aimag (province) Governor L. Gansukh called to his office all staff of the Zavkhan newspaper, including Editor-in-Chief B. Ider and the Governor's Office Media Information Department head and spokeswoman D. Natsagmaa, and yelled at them for some time.
Mrs. B. Bujinlkham, Hovd agent of the privately-owned Air Mongolia aviation company, and her office cashier Mrs. Z. Bulganchimeg, are reported to have threatened journalist G. Ganchimeg of the Hovdyn Medee (Hovd News) newspaper about her article in the newspaper titled Stop It: Airticketing Our Permanent Toothache in the issue dated January 1, 2006.
The Globe International NGO has concerns about a violation of the public's right of access to information in Hovd aimag (province). In October last (2005), an instruction issued jointly by the Hovd Aimag Governor's office and the Hovd branch of the State Professional Inspection Agency blocked transmission of 5 TV channels to about 2,000 households of the ger suburbs.
Mr. D. Sukhbaatar, former deputy head of the Dornod aimag branch of the National Emergency Management Agency, has been threatening female journalist M. Odgerel of the Dornod Newspaper. In the last few months he has been sending messages to her mobile phone such as, ”I have been watching you and your family. I’ll settle your hash.”
The Globe International NGO has a number of staff in various aimags (provinces) working under a project to monitor free expression violations and support the rights of the independent media.
Globe's monitor for Ulaanbaatar and for Govisumber and Dornogovi aimags has reported on the current situation in Govisumber aimag and on his meetings with aimag journalists and law implementers of local organizations.
THE PUBLIC'S RIGHT TO KNOW IS STRICTLY LIMITED IN THE PRACTICE
There have recently been various reports on the Savings bank's privatization, including allegations that the tax amount the bank previously transferred to the state budget had decreased.
To verify these reports I met with Mr. B. Batgerel, inspector at Information processing unit of National Tax Authority, to request information on the taxes paid by the Savings bank from 2003 to 2005. However, B. Batgerel refused to give me information unless I got hold of his boss's signature. It is disappointing that I did not receive any assistance in obtaining declassified information of such nature. Does it have to do with the fact that National Tax Authority, has established such rigid rules within its walls or with B. Batgerel's bureaucratic manners?
Sources: Unuudur daily news 2006.01.11
Globe International lawyer gave the comment on this case
3. Public service broadcasting
GLOBE INTERNATIONAL ISSUED MEDIA RELEASE
Globe International, a NGO, which has been activiely engaged to the drafting and passing the Public Radio and TV law, is carefully observing the law implementation process. We repeatly reminded before that, all the procceses of formationa of the National Counsil (NC) and appointment of the General Director must be open and transparent. However, only 9 members of the present NC were selected from candidates proposed by NGO Assembly. We still do not have any clear information how other 6 members were selected and nominated, and who and what NGO proposed their candidates.
Governance crisis in Mongolia negatively affecting development of Public Service Broadcaster.
The new Mongolian law of Mongolia on Public Radio & Television has not been implemented properly, says Globe International. Although the law passed through parliament on July 1, 2005 the appointment of the general director has not been confirmed because of an internal dispute among members of the National Council (NC).
Mongolian media has been covering the issue intensively.
4. Reports and Publications
Globe International has translated and printed handbook Protecting Our Sources
published by the International Federation of Journalists and European Federation
Mongolian version of the handbook / Protection Our Sources/
5. Other news
PRESIDENT RECEIVES THE CERTIFICATE FROM MONGOLIAN NEWSPAPERS UNION'S LEADERSHIP
Mongolian Newspapers Union's leadership met with Mongolia's President N. Enkhbayar yesterday to award him the Certificate, the Union's highest prize granted on behalf of the readers of 25 newspapers making up the Union.
During the awarding ceremony the Union's President R. Hadbaatar said that N. Enkhbayar was selected for the award on the basis of the survey conducted among the readers. He stressed that President N. Enkhbayar had been highly supportive of the union, and the union would work together with the state institutions to strengthen the support given by President.
Following the ceremony, President and the representatives of the Union's Governing Council exchanged views on the development of free media in Mongolia.
Sources: Unuudur 2006.01.07
CNN CONTACTED WITH MONGOLIAN JOURNALIST
CNN broadcast the information provided on 12 January 2006 by Mr. Batjav G., correspondent for "Eagle" TV channel.
In the telephone conversation with CNN Mr. Batjav reported that the public demanding lower public transport fares had stormed Ulaanbaatar's Governor's administration, Government House and the Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party headquarters. After broadcasting these events, CNN inquired whether there had been any casualties or armed violence. When asked why the public were demanding that some MPs were called back, Batjav referred to the demands that the parliament gripped with poverty should be dissolved. The conversation between CNN and Batjav lasted 4-5 minutes and did not touch upon the issue of the Governmet's dissolution. Batjav put it down to the fact that CNN was only interested in sensational news.
Sources: Dailynews 2006.01.13 / http://www.dailynews.mn /